Step inside a song with Sonos and Google Assistant in London

Sound expert Sonos makes noise at a new exhibition, asking: ‘What does music really do to the mind?'

Real-time visualisations of musical reactions, at Sonos' The Brilliant Sound Experience
The Brilliant Sound Experience, at The Vinyl Factory, in Soho, London, created by Sonos to celebrate the launch of the Google Assistant on its devices
(Image credit: sonos)

This weekend, Sonos is celebrating the much lauded arrival of the Google Assistant on its wireless music systems with The Brilliant Sound Experience: an immersive, multi-sensory installation in London's Soho. Also highlighting new music from The National and slowthai, the installation is set to uncover the key elements that make up Sonos' signature sound – inviting you to hear, and unusually, see it, first-hand.

Sonos' mission statement focusses on inspiring the world to ‘listen better', and as such, the exhibition will visually deconstruct the sonic experience, exploring how sound works, how it layers into music, and why it resonates with us on an emotional level. Guests will see real-time visualisations of their brain's reaction to the music, allowing them to physically step inside the sound.

The installation reads interestingly in relation to the one Google presented with Johns Hopkins University’s Arts + Mind Lab earlier this year at Salone del Mobile in Milan, which explored the ways in which design, lighting and interior architecture directly impacts on our inner calm.

Real-time visualisations of musical reactions, at Sonos

Real-time visualisations of musical reactions, at Sonos’ The Brilliant Sound Experience

(Image credit: sonos)

In Milan, guests donned reactive Google-made wrist bands, which monitored heart rate, body temperature and moisture to track emotional response. At the London showcase, EEG headbands provide the scientific analysis, tracing the interrelation between brainwaves and soundwaves. To a backdrop of evocative songs from the Beggars Group labels – specifically chosen for their ability to spark reaction – guests can better understand their brain’s emotional responses through attractive visual maps, that look like fireworks of colourful neurons.

The second of two rooms asks: ‘When does sound become music?', illustrated by a dynamic composition by American band The National. The song layers the track ‘Rylan’ from new album I Am Easy To Find, and British rapper slowthai’s new single ‘Toaster’ from his debut album There’s Nothing Great About Britain. Visitors can expect to be immersed ‘both audibly and visually', explains The National's Scott Devendorf. Watch – and listen to – this space.


The Brilliant Sound Experience, 2-4 August 2019.


51 Poland Street
London, W1


Elly Parsons is the Digital Editor of Wallpaper*, where she oversees and its social platforms. She has been with the brand since 2015 in various roles, spending time as digital writer – specialising in art, technology and contemporary culture – and as deputy digital editor. She was shortlisted for a PPA Award in 2017, has written extensively for many publications, and has contributed to three books. She is a guest lecturer in digital journalism at Goldsmiths University, London, where she also holds a masters degree in creative writing. Now, her main areas of expertise include content strategy, audience engagement, and social media.